"A Jotter" by Zhang Xiaogang, 2009; cast copper, 25 x 200 x 135 cm

"A Jotter" by Zhang Xiaogang, 2009; cast copper, 25 x 200 x 135 cm

May 7th, 2009 at Upper East Side Fang Yuan, Beijing, welcoming the dawn in hot stuffiness

Where are we? Are we living in the past, the present or the future? Are we living in a constant accumulation or starting from scratch? On quite a few occasions I thought I almost came up with the answer, or at least I thought I could almost “feel” the answer – on quite a few occasions I struggled to awaken from dreams of the past and scrambled to touch the reality of the present, but instead touched only the sheets, pillowcases and lamps bought from IKEA. What we can see on different TV channels are only different faces playing the same role.

I indeed vividly “felt” it, that we have really entered the globalized economic super highway. We have flown-over bridges from the “socialist avenue”, and kept circling and spinning around and around above the multi-level bridges. From elementary school, high school, college, till now, all along there has been a voice echoing: “We are now facing a brand new era!” Yes, we are forever moving toward a new way of life, which implies you should abandon whatever you are thinking without any hesitation, leave the game that you have just become familiar with, so as to unfold the wings of imagination, we quickly fly up high with the sun beaming down.

July 3rd, 2009 Sunny with clouds, humid

The above was written last May for an exhibition on the feelings of “where do we live”. It has been a year since then, now when I re-read those words of helplessness it seems like they were more of a strange kind of stillness derived from the split between reality and fantasy. We are once again forced to bear the fact of falling to the bottom from a high place this year. The sudden arrival of the economic crisis triggered the fear concerning our economy. Life seems to go on just the same — work, exhibitions, parties, having dinner, drinking, chitchat, watching T.V., watching movies (more than before), then continue to work, exhibitions, the list keeps repeating itself. Every one is saying that my life in the last two years is more “normal” than the past. There are less feelings of excitement, but more things to think over. Meanwhile there is another thing, which is the helpless expectation that is prolonged. The future becomes vague once more, and today is still just another waiting one without fantasy. Maybe life itself is unordered, waiting for various results? Perhaps time is a container of souls, designed by people to mock life, exaggerate reality? Anyhow, in our country, reality and fantasy, time and life have been random and are frequently misplaced from the beginning…

Courtesy of Zhang Xiaogang, all rights reserved.


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